Lurking in the shadows of the dimly lit hall, I stood, peeking around the corner into the dining room. That’s where I saw it. At first glance it was the norm, but as I stood back for a minute, I saw beauty. There was my life taking place right before my eyes.
Just moments earlier, I found myself entangled in the stress and frustration of everyday life; the bills that needed to be paid, and the house that once more needed to be picked up, and the kids who also had an endless list of needs to be met. It engulfed my heart. And, there in the midst of my drowning, my voice was raised, and my temper was short.
Just moments earlier, I had given my husband a piece of my mind. I had left the room because the weariness of my heart was overwhelming me. My life, these hours, and days, and weeks, it felt hard. It felt overtaking. It felt exhausting. It felt like too much.
And, because I was entangled in the too much, I lost sight of the SO much.
I was lost amidst the winding roads of self pity. I was wandering down the dangerous path of discontentment. My vision had only one focus, the negative. I saw disobedient children, and an ungrateful husband, a dirty house, and an empty bank account. And, it didn’t really matter if those were true realities or not. That is what I saw. That is what I felt.
But, there was SO much more taking place. My life is SO much more.
As I glanced around the corner and just stood back to observe, it was as if the Lord moved back the blinders that once hindered my vision.
I saw a husband, who was in the kitchen, helping to prepare the dinner that we would soon eat, the food that we never lack. The sound of music danced into my ears as I observed my kids, two healthy, beautiful kids. They twirled and danced about, dragging their daddy onto the dance floor a time or two. Their smiles and giggles melted away the hardness in my heart. I saw a home, a safe place. I saw love, and hope. Hope that broke through and gave life once more.
It was as if stepping back allowed me to take a snap shot of my life, like the black and white photos of a family slide show. I pictured the memories that were being made, the family that was being built, and I treasured this picture in my heart.
So, I have started stepping back more often. Just watching. Watching this life unfold. Taking snap shots of the beauty that so often eludes me amidst the days that feel hard.
My challenge to you? Step back, my friend. Look at your life. Even amidst the most difficult, the most frustrating, the most overwhelming moments, there is beauty. He is redeeming the moments. He is making the broken places new. He is creating beauty even when your heart is ugly. He is working.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time…”